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3 Bumps

where is the line between a "pack rat" and a "hoarder?

I am watching the show hoarders on A&E and a mom said"I just have the thoughts of 'someday I might need this' or'well what if I toss it and then realize I could have sold it for money'".
so it made me think of all the times I myself have said that too myself, and I always say I am a pack rat...
and yes lol I can walk thru my house, no one is in danger(or lost under rubble lol).
but it made me wonder, where is the line for hoarding, and do you know a hoarder(or could you be one)?


Asked by Bearsjen at 1:05 PM on Sep. 6, 2010 in Home & Garden

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This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Those shows are so depressing but it always makes me wanna clean my house. lol

    Answer by GinNTonic at 1:08 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • a pack rat doesnt always throw things away or give things away they dont need, but if they have to they CAN. a hoarder has a mental illness in the OCD family and they literally apply emotional attachments to things that are not considered normal. IE trash etc. they literally feel they CANNOT give those items up no matter what due to that attachment or memory. hoarding is a disorder that typcially becomes a danger and a hazzard.

    Answer by sati769leigh at 1:32 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • Maybe if you can't go through the garage or yards... I've seen some shows where the living room is perfect but than you go out back and stuff is everywhere, def when you have multiple of the same thing, broken or working... I good will alot of stuff when I look at it and decide I haven't used it in 6 months plus.

    Answer by DonnaPinitonya at 1:09 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • most of them cannot get rid of anything.....or it causes emotional/mental distress. I think if it harms you physically, mentally or's gone too far!

    Answer by CABlonde at 2:16 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I was watching that last night and had the same thought. I've always heard that if you don't use something in 6 months you should get rid of it - really?!? I keep things for those "I might need it someday" events and very rarely am I not glad I did. Honestly, I have a lot of times when I think back to something I had 15 or more years ago and think "If I had only kept that I could use it now." I realize that to some people that may be crazy, but I can't help but think of all the money we would have saved if I hadn't had to purchase that same item again.


    Answer by scout_mom at 2:37 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I would think that the line between the two would be whether you feel anxiety about getting rid of things or if you are unable to because of how it makes you feel to get rid of things.  I would think that some of the people on those shows start off as pack rats and then something happens and they just hold onto everything (like a death in the family, or a health scare type of something that happens).


    Answer by QuinnMae at 5:05 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • a hoarder means you can't walk through your house and it is not safe. Did you hear about the woman who they found under a bunch her stuff that had died. A pack rat can throw things if they need to

    Answer by Moms_Angels1960 at 1:50 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • To me, pack rats save things that might be useful. Hoarders just keep things compulsively.

    We have a LOT, but it is food, food preps, animal feed, raw materials (metal, wood), etc. Ours is organized and we KNOW what is there. Our goal is self sufficiency and enough to tide us over for at least two years whether or not a store is open somewhere. We're definitely well prepared for any emergency situation or natural disaster.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 2:25 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • Hoarding is a mental illness and uncontrollable for those affected. Pat rats just like to have stuff. If you move frequently, as we do for business, you can not hang on to unnecessary items-


    Answer by Sisteract at 3:34 PM on Sep. 6, 2010